7 Secrets for Making Healthy Habits that Stick

Changing your routine can be hard, but you can do it. These are the strategies I’ve discovered that helped me make new healthy habits and stick with them.

I am willing to bet you can come up with at least five healthy habits that can improve your life off the top of your head. The truth is we know many healthy habits, but we don’t know how to implement them. And even when we implement them, we don’t stick to them long enough to reap the rewards.

I know this, because I’ve failed at implementing healthy habits so many times. However, after years of learning and trial and error, I’ve been able to form healthy daily habits such as meditation, reading, writing and walking.

Today, I will share with you the strategies that have helped me make these healthy habits stick.

7 Secrets for Making Healthy Habits that Stick

Secret #1 Maintain a regular daily schedule.

A regular daily schedule will allow you to allocate time to every habit. For instance, if you want to start meditating, set a specific time for your meditation session.

An irregular schedule, on the other hand, makes it virtually impossible to stick to any habit. For instance, if want to get eight hours of sleep every night, but you stay up late sometimes, you won’t get enough sleep.

Another example is if you’re trying to work out every morning but you don’t have a specific time for waking up. Sometimes you’ll have to skip your workout when you wake up late.

Secret #2 Set reminders.

It’s very easy to forget about the new habits you’re trying to form. Therefore, use reminders to avoid skipping the habit.

Take advantage of the alarm clock or calendar on your phone or use apps. There are apps that remind you to drink water throughout the day. Others remind you to walk or take a break from the screen.

Whatever habit you’re trying to form, chances are there’s a reminder app for it.

Secret #3 Use rewards.

Many of us are familiar with the concept of rewards. You simply reward yourself for sticking to a habit for a certain duration. For instance, you could reward yourself with a new pair of shoes after exercising consistently for 30 days.

However, don’t base your rewards on results. Base them on habits. Instead of rewarding yourself after losing 20 pounds, reward yourself for walking for 20 minutes consistently for 30 days. You have more control over your habits than the results.

Secret #4 Try anchoring.

This is the concept of forming new habits around existing ones. Think of the habits that you do every day like brushing your teeth, taking a shower or making your bed.

It’s easier for new habits to stick when you attach them to existing habits because one habit will trigger the other. For instance, you can start doing your morning workout after brushing your teeth.

Note that the association won’t happen instantly, but over time the two habits will become intertwined.

a person puts toothpaste on a toothbrush

Secret #5 Lose money if you fail.

In this case, you lose money if you fail to stick to your habits. It’s the opposite of rewards.

I used this concept when I wanted to upload 30 videos on my YouTube channel in 30 days. I promised to give my friend 30 dollars if I failed, and that pushed me to upload the videos.

You could write your friend a check for 50 dollars and ask them to cash it if fail to stick to your habit. The more money you put at stake, the higher your chances of sticking to the habit.

Secret #6 Form small habits.

I’ve talked about this before. Small habits are easy to execute, because they don’t require lots of time and willpower.

Many of us can exercise for 10 minutes every day, but very few people can exercise for one hour several times a week. Make it easy on yourself by forming small habits. Take advantage of these small habits for weight loss, for example.

Secret #7 Start small.

One of the reasons New Year’s resolutions fail is we try to do too much at once. Don’t try to form more than three habits at once.

Stick to your set of three healthy habits until they stick before forming new habits. If you’re trying to form big habits, like walking for one hour every day, stick to one habit at a time. Three habits are only ideal if you’re forming small habits.

Id love to hear some of the strategies you have used to make healthy habits stick.

Images via Getty

20 comments

Ann B
Ann B8 days ago

noted

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Danuta W
Danuta W8 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Mona M
Mona M8 days ago

Thank you, all are interesting apart rewards and punishments, remind the obsolete education system!

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Sandra V
Sandra Vito8 days ago

Thanks

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Sandra V
Sandra Vito8 days ago

Thanks

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Gloria p

Keep a good image in your mind.

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Greta L
Greta L8 days ago

Thank you for posting

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Lisa M
Lisa M9 days ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M9 days ago

Thanks.

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Carol S
Carol S9 days ago

Try stickk.com and choose an anti-charity. The day I have to pay the NRA just won't happen!

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